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Fall 2017 MAPR Faculty Mentor List

The following faculty are considering accepting new MAPR applicants into their research programs.  It is strongly suggested that these specific faculty members be considered as potential mentors when completing Part D of the MAPR department application.

This procedure applies to MAPR applicants only.  

Potential Mentors, Fall 2017 Admission

James Amirkhan Stress and coping, health psychology, attribution theory. As a Personality psychologist, I am particularly interested in individual differences in the above domains — e.g., the person-related variables that lead one person to confront a stressor and another to avoid it.  Currently, I am using a recently published measure (Amirkhan, 2012) to identify those most likely to develop stress-related disorders in high-risk groups.

Young-Hee Cho I am broadly interested in factors influencing psychological well-being among elders.  Interested in understanding factors that have impact on elders’ subjective estimation of their life expectancy and the consequence of these estimations on psychological well-being.

Maricela Correa My research examines the organization of childhood and family life in communities that do not have a long history of participation of schooling.  In particular I examine some of the ways that families organize teaching and learning in everyday family and community life and some of the strengths associated with these forms of learning.  My work has centered on families that have historical roots in the Americas (Mexico and Central America in particular) as well as in immigrant families.

Gino Galvez Dr. Gino Galvez received his B.A. degree in Psychology from California State University, Northridge and his Ph.D. degree in Applied Psychology from Portland State University. Broadly, he is interested in examining complex issues that affect ethnic minority populations within organizational contexts. For example, some of his research has examined the intersection of intimate partner violence, culture, and employment outcomes among Latino men. Additionally, Dr. Galvez maintains an active research line in program evaluation in which a range of methods (e.g., surveys, interviews, and focus groups) are used to evaluate programs, interventions, and organizations. He serves as a program evaluator and consultant for several grant-supported research projects (e.g., NIH BUILD, HSI STEM) and community-based organizations. At CSULB, he has taught courses in Social Psychology, Test Construction, Multivariate Statistics, and I-O Psychology.

Araceli Gonzalez I am broadly interested in assessment and treatment of internalizing disorders (i.e., anxiety, depression, traumatic stress, somatic complaints) in children/adolescents and parents. Specifically, my work focuses on (a) trying to understand risk factors for the development of these problems, and how risk and resilience factors might vary in different cultural groups, and (b) developing and improving culturally sensitive mental health services for these problems. I am currently conducting research examining youth stress response during interactions with their anxious parents. I am also conducting a pilot study to examine the role of community mental health workers in delivering a behavioral intervention for anxiety and depression to low-income Latinos in a rural medical setting.

May Ling Halim In my primary line of research I study how, across different cultural groups, children’s gender identities develop from preschool to early elementary school. I am interested in both adherence to gender norms (i.e., girls wearing pink from head to toe) and deviation from gender norms (i.e., tomboys). I also investigate what factors lead to differences in gender identities (e.g., cognition), as well as what consequences are associated with them (e.g., intergroup gender attitudes, interest in STEM-related fields, psychological adjustment).  In my secondary line of research I study how forms of group-based discrimination (ethnic, gender, language) interact with one’s identity in affecting one’s personal health and the health of one’s child.

William Pedersen My research is primarily focused on factors that impact aggressive behavior and violence.  I am interested in a variety of personality factors including trait rumination, narcissism, impulsivity, attachment style, and religiosity.  I have also investigated a variety of situational factors that impact aggression including rumination, social support, power restoration, alcohol priming, and drug use.  A related line of research investigates the impact of trait displaced aggression on romantic relationships, life satisfaction, and both mental and physical health.  Finally, I have smaller research programs in the areas of both intergroup relations and evolutionary psychology (specifically gender differences in mating strategies).

Lindsey Sterling My primary research and clinical interests are in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), with a special interest in understanding and treating coexisting psychopathology, specifically anxiety and depression, among individuals with ASD across the lifespan. Much of this work has entailed investigating physiological mechanisms underlying comorbid symptoms of stress and anxiety in youth with ASD. Additionally, my background as a clinical psychologist and my postdoctoral training in cognitive-behavioral treatments for anxiety in individuals with ASD has driven me to work toward understanding these physiological mechanisms in terms of potential targets and predictors of treatment, and to individualize interventions aimed at ameliorating coexisting psychopathology. Given evidence for particularly high rates of coexisting psychopathology and related challenges among adolescents and adults with ASD, my recent research and clinical endeavors have shifted toward this growing population of individuals on the autism spectrum.  

Yada Treesukosol Taste cues and feeding behavior.  My research takes advantage of animal models to ask questions related to how oral signals (e.g. taste, smell, texture) send information to the brain to control feeding and drinking behavior.  My approach is to use physiological procedures (e.g. pharmacology, electrophysiology, genetic manipulations) combined with behavioral measures (e.g. meal patterns, detection thresholds, preference).  This allows us to begin to tease apart the relative contributions of oral stimulation, post-ingestive cues and reward-related mechanisms to eating behavior.  Such studies contribute to efforts to reveal how the system is organized and in turn may also identify potential targets for therapeutic interventions for eating disorders and obesity-related complications.

Guido Urizar My research in the area of Clinical & Health Psychology has focused on examining psychosocial, behavioral, and physiological factors associated with mental and physical health outcomes.  The primary objective of this research is to identify groups that are at-risk for chronic health problems and to develop and test community-based interventions that are designed to promote chronic disease prevention and management in low-income, ethnic minority, and other medically underserved populations.  Specific areas of my research include examining the impact of stress and its biomarkers (e.g., cortisol) on health, identifying risk factors for adverse maternal and infant health outcomes, and evaluating the efficacy of health behavior programs (e.g., exercise, nutrition, stress management) on preventing stress-related disorders. For more information about my PRO-Health research group, please refer to the following web site:

Arturo Zavala Areas of interests include animal models of drug addiction and developmental neuropsychopharmacology.  Specifically, my research investigates the short- and long-term neurochemical and behavioral effects of exposure to psychostimulant drugs across development (neonatal, adolescence, and adulthood), as well as determine the impact that early exposure to drugs may have on the susceptibility to abuse drugs later in life.